Which vintage Care Bear gifts are best? 

Originally appearing on illustrated American Greetings cards, the Care Bears have become ubiquitous in ‘80s pop culture, thanks to the beloved characters being featured in movies, television series, video games and retail ads. Even now, the iconic brand has a whole new generation of kids and adults enthralled with the introduction of new character styles, colors and features.

With the Care Bear family always expanding, it can be hard to choose exactly which one to bring home, be it a collectible or newer item. Whether you’ve been a fan since childhood or would like to gift one to someone else, you can now take the magic of Care-a-Lot home with you and learn more about the best online vintage Care Bear gifts available.

Things to consider before buying a Care Bear gift

Characters

Since their first appearance, Care Bears have had unique personalities, symbols, colors and abilities that set them apart from each other. Originally, there were nine members named Love-a-lot Bear, Wish Bear, Bedtime Bear, Birthday Bear, Cheer Bear, Good Luck Bear, Friend Bear, Funshine Bear and Tenderheart Bear, until Grumpy Bear was added. In subsequent years, the Care Bear Cousins were introduced and consisted of 11 different animals rather than bears.

Stuffed animals

Care Bear plushies are the most common item available on the internet. Each one is soft, fluffy and pretty lightweight, which makes them the perfect addition to playtime or bedtime. Designed with comfort in mind, kids can cuddle with each Care Bear or preserve their favorite one as a collector’s item. Plush designs either feature the new stylized look from the reboot or the vintage character designs from the greeting cards.

Puzzles

Themed puzzle sets are the ultimate gift, since they’re great for piecing together with the family during game night or giving away as a present at birthdays, holiday parties and other special occasions. Many of the sets available feature the original Care Bear lineup riding rainbows or playing among the clouds in Care-a-Lot, while others feature a unique character with their signature Care Bear Stare or Care Bear Cousin Call.

Puzzle designs commonly range from 60-1,000 jigsaw pieces in total and measure around 8 by 10 inches once you complete them. Generally, they’re made of glare-free paper and using precision cutting techniques to ensure each piece fits together perfectly. Several vintage sets are considered collector’s items and can be added to your Care Bear memorabilia collection.

Activity books

Different activity and coloring books showcase the Care Bears in scenes from the movies and television series that you can color on bleed-proof paper. However, the most popular type of activity book you can find nowadays includes stickers that you can place on each page when you participate in the different games and activities within the book.

Reading books

Several reading books star fan favorites such as Good Luck Bear, Funshine Bear, Cheer Bear, Grumpy Bear and Share Bear saving the day or helping children learn important life lessons about friendship, love and sharing. Older vintage editions feature signature characters in lullabies and bedtime stories which also include cassette tapes you can play when you read along, although a complete set is hard to come by.

Play sets

Unfortunately, modern day versions of Care-a-Lot play sets aren’t available to purchase since their popularity has waned over the years. However, a vintage play set is a great gift to give to a Care Bear collector of any age and makes a fantastic collector’s item due to their rarity. Some include different dials, knobs and mini figurines you can play with, while others function in a similar capacity to electronic learning kits like Leapfrog.

Board games

Many themed board games follow the titular characters on a simple task or adventure you have to complete by participating with other players in a similar fashion to Candy Land or Monopoly. Although less competitive than other board games, players still use play pieces, stands and dice to reach the end of the board while learning different values and lessons along the way.

Top vintage Care Bear gifts

Best blanket gift

Piper and Abbey Poppin Vintage Care Bears Quilt

Piper and Abbey Poppin Vintage Care Bears Quilt

This vintage handmade blanket has stood the test of time and showcases Bedtime Bear, Share Bear, Tenderheart Bear, Wish Bear and Love-a-lot Bear all playing with each other in Care-a-Lot. Featuring a scene near Rainbow Trail, fans are bound to find several little Easter eggs from the series hidden throughout the quilt, which is approximately 40 by 33 inches in size. Items are delivered from a clean and smoke-free home. 

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Best card game gift

Kaleidoscope Kid Co Rainbow Rummy & Cloud Catcher Games

Kaleidoscope Kid Co Rainbow Rummy & Cloud Catcher Games

Each game pack comes in its own sealed, unopened carrying case. In the Cloud Catcher game with Funshine Bear on the front, players use a spinner in an attempt to collect all five Care Bear character tiles before placing them on their own “Cloud Card.” The first player to collect all five Care Bears wins. In Rainbow Rummy, players play a card game similar to Go Fish that involves taking cards from other players and drawing from a card deck. 

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Best spinner board game gift

Vntg By Monica On the Path to Care-a-Lot Board Game

Vntg By Monica On the Path to Care-a-Lot Board Game

Each player starts with their own unique combination of star chips that feature different pictures of each bear’s belly symbol. During each turn, players spin the spinner to determine which chip and symbol they should move to on their row of stars. When you complete each row, you then move up the star path toward Care-a-Lot, but only one space at a time during each person’s spin. The first player to reach Tender Heart Bear in Care-a-Lot wins. 

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Best beginner level puzzle gift

Kaleidoscope Kid Co Vintage 60-Piece Care Bears Puzzle

Kaleidoscope Kid Co Vintage 60-Piece Care Bears Puzzle

Let the fun shine when you piece together this beginner-friendly 60-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring fan favorites from the series spreading love throughout colorful Care-a-Lot. Once completed, this puzzle is definitely the perfect addition to your Care Bear memorabilia collection.  

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Best expert level puzzle gift

Care Bears Care-a-Lot 1,000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Care Bears Care-a-Lot 1,000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

This puzzle showcases the original Care Bear lineup from the classic ‘80s franchise, including Tenderheart Bear, Funshine Bear, Love-A-Lot Bear, Bedtime Bear and many more. Each bear’s symbol and personality are shown in their own unique ways in this 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, with watercolor rainbows and clouds around the Care-a-Lot Castle. The puzzle measures 10 by 8 by 2 inches once completed. 

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Best reading gift

Baby Boom Vintage Shop Care Bears Hardcover Parker Brothers Book

Baby Boom Vintage Shop Care Bears Hardcover Parker Brothers Book

Explore the land of Care-a-Lot and follow the Care Bears on different adventures as they help children deal with everyday life lessons such as learning how to treat others with kindness, how to deal with bullies and welcoming a new addition to the family. Some stories also show the Care Bears battling witches, children’s bad dreams and the Freeze Machine. 

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Best sticker play set gift

Smile From The Past Shop Care Bears Presto Magix Stick 'N Lift Magic Stickers Play Set

Smile From The Past Shop Care Bears Presto Magix Stick ‘N Lift Magic Stickers Play Set

This set contains colorful plastic stickers that can be placed on different pages to create different scenes that include various Care Bears as well as birds, flowers, a heart and a moon. The sticker book also contains a Care-a-Lot background and the original black sheet that came with the set. There’s some minor wear on the box and stickers. 

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Best coloring book gift

The Charm Room The Care Bears and the Big Sneeze Coloring Book

The Charm Room The Care Bears and the Big Sneeze Coloring Book

Illustrated by Barb Henry and written by Peggy Kahn, this vintage coloring book features scenes of the Care Bears enjoying the snowy weather after coming down from Care-a-Lot. Along the way, they teach the reader some tips on how to stay warm in cold weather and how to prevent colds. 

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Best collector item gift

From Charlotte’s Attic Care Bear Vintage Rainbow Red Case

From Charlotte’s Attic Care Bear Vintage Rainbow Red Case

This retro Care Bears suitcase is in pretty good condition and has a functioning zipper, though there may be a few minor signs of wear and tear inside, and it has a few marks on the exterior. The entire bag measures 17 by 11 by 4 inches. The seller also offers a free bonus gift with your purchase. 

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Ashton Hughes writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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